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PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY

Myanmar is a country in the continent of Asia and is situated in the Northern Hemisphere between N.Lat. 9 30′ x 28 31′ and E.Long.92 10’& 101 11′ Covering an area approx. 261, 228 sq.mi. (676,577 sq.km). It is an elongated piece of land 1300 miles (2,090 Km) from north to south and 575 miles (925 km) at it’s widest from east to west. The coast line of Myanmar is a total length of 1760 miles (2832 km) starting from the southern tip of Bangladesh up to Victoria Point. The coasts and mountain barriers form natural frontiers with Bangladesh & India in the north-west. China in the north-east, Laos & Thailand in the east and south-east.

BRIEF HISTORY

The First Myanmar Empire was consolidated and founded by King Anawrahta in the 11th century, A.D. though dynasties reigned for many centuries prior to this period. After the reign of the kingdom had to be re-unified as the Second Myanmar Empire under King BayintNaung in mid 16th Century. Similarly King Alaungpaya founded the Last Myanmar Empire known as KONEBAUNG Dynasty in 1752. During the reign of this dynasty, three successive Anglo-Myanmar wars were fought in 1824, 18 52 and 1885 when the whole country ceded as a colony to the British. During the second world war 1939-45 the Japanese forces invaded Myanmar in 1942 to mid 1945 when they were forced to retreat. After two and a half years of reoccupation the country gained it’s independence as a sovereign state on the 4th January 1948 to this day.

LANGUAGE

All the nationals and ethnic tribal groups converse in their own languages and dialects, but Myanmar is spoken & understood as the lingua-franca. English is also spoken among many circles and is used in international correspondence and dealings.clock

TIME

The Myanmar Standard Time is 6:30 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

BUSINESS HOURS

Week Days: Monday to Friday

(9:00 am to 4:00 pm)

Banking Hours

(10:00 am to 2:00 pm)

Government Departments close on week-ends and public holidays.

ELECTRICITY

Electricity is state-supplied throughout the country. Domestic Power A.C. 220-250 volts 50 cycles. Power line 440 volts. 2 pin plug ( thin ) is used commonly. Difficult to use 3 pin plugs. Multi- adaptor is recommended.

CUSTOM

All foreign currencies and valuable items must be declared at the custom’s counter at the airport on arrival. But less than US$ 10,000 do not need to be declared. Export of antiques is totally prohibited. Only gems and jewelries purchased from authorized dealers are allowed to be taken out of the country.

MOBILEphone

International Roaming service does not work properly yet. Local SIM card is required.There are three telecom operators in Myanmar. MPT ( Myanma Post and Telecom, state owned ), Ooredoo from Qatar and Telenor from Norway. Ooredoo and Telenor network does not cover the whole country yet.MPT SIM card can be bought easily by paying about US$ 2.It can be used for domestic and overseas call but does not yet support SMS.

MEALSCurry-the-core-of-Burmese-meals

Our typical meal is rice and curry. It normally includes A plate of white rice, Main Dish ( A kind of meat ), Side Dish ( Fried Vegetable or Vegetable Salad ), A bowl of Soup ( It may sour ), A plate of fresh vegetable with fish paste( hot ). Eat everything altogether. It’ll cost 3-4000 Kyats / meal. Chinese dish is a bit more expensive and European is the most expensive.

GENERAL ADVICE

Avoid drinking tap water. Purified bottled water is available everywhere. Insect repellent and high factor block cream are advisable as protection against mosquitoes and the hot tropical sun. Visitors are required to dress decently within the precincts of religious buildings. Ladies should not wear shorts or bra-less T shirts in such places. Shoes, socks and stockings must be removed at pagodas and monasteries.

An umbrella or rain coat is essential if visiting during the rainy season (JUNE-OCT). Tipping is a common practice even when service charge is shown on bill. Bargaining is essential when shopping on the street.

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS (2017)

Jan 04         Independence Day

Feb 12          Union Day

Mar 02        Peasant’s Day

Mar 12         Fullmoon Day of Tabaung

Mar 27         Armed Forces Day

Apr 13-16    Thingyan Water Festival

Apr 17          Myanmar New Year

May 01        World Worker’s Day

May 10        Fullmoon Day of Kason

Jul 08          Fullmoon Day of Waso

Jul 19           Martyr’s Day

Oct 04-06   Fullmoon Day of Thindingyut(Abidhammar Day)

Nov 02-03  Fullmoon Day of Tazaungmone

Dec 18         Kayin New year

Dec 25        Christmas Day

Dec 31-01   New Year